/Here’s where Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy stand on healthcare

Here’s where Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy stand on healthcare

COVID-19 continues its grip on the country. Healthcare costs and accessibility remain a top issue for voters. Multiple polls have shown that the issue is top of mind for most Mississippians. Cindy Hyde Smith, a Republican senator, hopes that the nation’s highest court will support the president. Her Democratic opponent, Mike Espy (former congressman and U.S Secretary of Agriculture), hopes that the court will not. Espy lost by 7 percentage points to Hyde Smith in a 2018 special election. He wants to expand the Affordable Healthcare Act. He stated that repealing the ACA could put in danger pre-existing conditions coverage for 593,000 Mississippians. Another 100,000 Mississippians are covered by the ACA Health Insurance Exchange, which would be closed if the Supreme Court declares Obamacare unconstitutional. Hyde-Smith wants to replace ACA. “Sen. “Sen. “She believes Obamacare should be repealed. Instead, healthcare should put patients at the centre of their healthcare. Not the government.” Brasell was asked about the fate of people with preexisting conditions. Brasell replied, “President Trump has repeatedly stated he will ensure that individuals who have pre-existing condition will continue to receive coverage regardless of the outcome to the litigation. Senator Hyde-Smith, like the president, agrees that it is vital to ensure continued protection for these people. So does Senate Republican leadership. Brasell said, “That’s why Senate’s latest COVID-19 bill contained language to ensure that these protections are maintained.” “It is regrettable that Democrats have blocked consideration for that bill, but it is certainly one of the worst.” READ MORE. Sen. Cindy Hyde Smith campaign promotes her healthcare vote — which her predecessor actually made. Many healthcare advocates have reacted skeptically to the Senate Republicans’ proposals to cover pre-existing condition in the absence of the ACA. For example, the Kaiser Family Foundation points out that some Senate GOP plans prevent pre-existing condition coverage from insurance policies. However, they do not offer financial supplements to make plans affordable. According to KFF analysis, insurance companies may be able charge more for people who have pre-existing conditions. They might also allow for higher premiums for women than men. Espy made healthcare the central focus of his campaign. He has spoken out about his pre-existing condition of a throat virus in recent years. This caused his raspy voice and frequent shots to treat the condition. As a child, he was almost killed by asthma when the hospital he grew up in — the Afro-American Hospital in Yazoo County, which is the first state hospital for Black Mississippians — ran out of oxygen canisters. Espy’s father drove to Yazoo City, then a white hospital, to obtain oxygen for his son. Espy stated in a campaign statement that “that was 60 years ago.” “Mississippi’s healthcare system remains in crisis despite the fact that it has made significant progress over the past 60-years. Healthcare is not the same. Because we cannot guarantee affordable and accessible healthcare, we have failed rural hospitals and communities. “That’s why I have made it my top priority to expand Medicaid in Mississippi. This is because access to affordable and accessible healthcare is not available in rural communities. Mississippi is one 12th state that has not expanded Medicaid under the ACA. Governor and legislative leaders of the state have rejected the idea saying that the state can’t afford to provide Medicaid coverage to 200,000-300,000. The federal government would cover 90% of the costs under the Medicaid expansion program. The state would bear 10%. Recent polling shows that a majority support Medicaid expansion. According to a Hyde-Smith campaign spokesperson, the governor and the state Legislature will decide whether to expand Medicaid. This decision is not made by a U.S. senator. The Supreme Court is in agreement. Brasell stated that the U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-2 in 2012 to declare it unconstitutional for federal government to require all states to expand Medicaid. “The Supreme Court recognized the fact that our Constitution is built upon the concept of federalism, and the balance of powers between the states’ and federal governments.” Espy stated that he would work with state leaders in order to create a coalition for expanding Medicaid. Espy also stated that he would push for federal funding to pay all costs associated with the Medicaid expansion. The Medicaid expansion program that covers most of the United States would be stopped if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the ACA. Brasell stated that the ultimate goal for Democrats is to repeal the ACA. He stated that Democrats want to replace Obamacare by Medicare for All. This would make private insurance illegal, and place the government in control of all healthcare in the country. This is not what Mississippians want or need. Maybe you could ask Mike Espy about his position on government-run health care. Espy, along with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has emphasized expanding the ACA and not replacing it by so-called Medicaid for All. Espy stated on his website that he was committed to expanding the Affordable Care Act to lower healthcare costs for all Mississippians.